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OUASSA Anatomy and Physiology project

What are Anatomy and Physiology?

Anatomy is the study of the structure of living things, whereas physiology focuses on the function of living things.

Study in the fields of anatomy and physiology generates new knowledge about normal structure and function, and helps us to understand what goes wrong in disease situations. Studying anatomy and physiology is both interesting and challenging, and is vital for health professionals such as doctors, physiotherapists and dentists.

Project - Control of movement

In this project you will have the opportunity to learn about how the body moves, and how movement is controlled by the brain.

We will start with the knee joint as an example, and explore the normal anatomy and function of this region, as well as delving into what changes occur with age and why structures of the knee may be susceptible to injury.

You will dissect a deer knee joint and identify and discuss the function of the relevant bones, ligaments and associated soft tissues. To explore the detailed (micro-) anatomy of tissues, including nerves, you will learn how to cut and stain tissue sections of a rat knee, and examine these under a microscope.

We will also consider how muscles are controlled by nerves: you will stimulate your own nerves to see what moves, and measure the activity of your own muscles. To examine the ability of your brain to control movement you will carry out a research project to measure your own body’s reaction to a visual disruption, to assess how a part of the brain called the cerebellum allows you to adapt, or alter, your movement in response to a visual disruption.

Finally, you will get to experience how ultrasound can be used to study muscles and nerves.

More information about Anatomy and Physiology at Otago

Download the Anatomy (PDF, 150 KB) and Physiology (PDF, 170 KB) infosheets for more information about:

  • Suggested background
  • Careers in Anatomy and Physiology
  • Degree programme
  • Teaching style
  • Postgraduate study

For further information visit the Anatomy and Physiology Departmental websites.